Death by Auto: 15 Things Every Driver Should Know About Crash Deaths

Car accident

Car accident Thousands of Americans die each year in car crashes. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Looking at the list of deadliest cars on the road, we can be grateful death traps, such as the Ford Pinto or Chevy Cobalt, no longer exist. Nonetheless, there was plenty of bad news when we dug into the latest report on crash-death statistics from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data organized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For starters, the latest total was the highest number since 2008, when 37,423 people died.

The good news is the 35,092 fatalities from auto accidents in the most recent report (2015) marked the eighth straight year under 40,000 deaths. Americans still die on the road at a higher rate than any other country, but things have improved somewhat.

But even taking population growth into account, the latest stats on vehicle fatalities raised some red flags. To that end, we looked at how, when, and why people met their end in a vehicle. We also noted who is most likely to die in a car crash and at what age. Here are 15 things you need to know about U.S. crash deaths.

1. Men die more than twice the rate of women

There has always been something of a battle of the sexes when it comes to driving habits. To generalize, men think women drive too slowly, and women think men drive like psychos. When we looked at the evidence of crash deaths, the ladies seem to have a point. Men died at a rate of 15.7 per 100,000 people — more than twice as frequently as women did (6.2 per 100,000). Looking at the ages of the men involved in the most fatal crashes, you start to understand why.

Next: The young and the reckless are the most dangerous.

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